Mistakes Chinese Students Make When Writing Personal Statements

1.Being too Colloquial.

One of the things schools will do with your personal statement is determine how good you are with English. One way to demonstrate fluency in English is to be colloquial, or casual. However, personal statements are one of the areas in English writing where one should be formal. Being too informal demonstrates that you are not proficient with how to use English in the right context.

2. Being too flowery.

Another way that Chinese students will try to demonstrate fluency in English is by using very poetic language. This is not effective, as it also demonstrates that you are not proficient with how to use English in the right context. If what you say reads like it would be better in a poem about beauty, it should not be in a personal statement.

3. Focusing too much on credentials.

Schools care a lot about your credentials. An application has multiple questions that are designed to find out what your credentials are.Things like where you work, what grades you received in school, and how you performed on tests are best explained in those questions. The personal statement is where you show the school how you are more than those credentials.If everything you have to say about a topic is on your resume, leave it out of the personal statement.

4. Making statements that are unbelievable.

Schools want to see that you are interested in devoting the next few years of your life to a specific field. But they will not believe you when you say that it was your dream as a little child to work in this field. Most children would rather be a superhero or an astronaut than an economist. Unless you really met a Nobel Prize winner at the age of 8 and from then on devoted yourself to a life of Economics, you should not tell stories about your career goals before you started your Bachelor’s program.

5. Not focusing on what makes them unique.

American schools receive thousands of applications from Chinese students, most of them with great grades and scores. While the schools care about credentials, they also care about diversity. They will only accept a certain number of Chinese students because they also want other nationalities.Because of this, you need to show why you are unique.

6. Telling too many uninteresting or unrelated facts.

While it’s important to show that you are unique, you need to do so in a way that is coherent. Many students write a paragraph full of little facts about themselves, such as they enjoy basketball,or like to read poetry. Unless these facts say something important about you,do not put them in the personal statement. Many applications have questions that ask about hobbies and interests; put these facts there.